Press Release

African Women and Youth to Win Big from JNP Coffee Auction Proceeds

Auction of highest-scoring specialty coffee celebrates 10 years of social impact for women farmers in Burundi, funding financial education, career training, environmental programs

November 2, 2022

BOSTON, MASS., November 4, 2022 – The sale of the highest-scoring specialty coffee from Burundi in East Africa’s Great Lakes region will support economic development for women, youth and the environment in that country. “Grand Cru Burundi, a JNP Coffee Auction,” will generate funds to bring needed economic development to the region.

Twenty-six carefully curated coffee micro-lots from the current harvest will be auctioned at this exclusive online event on Thursday, 8 December, when coffee buyers from all around the world will submit virtual bids to acquire some of the finest coffees in the world. Proceeds from the auction will ensure more training and certifications for coffee farmers, more educational programs for young people starting their coffee careers, and the creation of post-processing solutions for clean water.

This auction is led by Jeanine Niyonzima-Aroian, who in 2012 founded JNP Coffee to empower coffee farmers in her homeland, Burundi, with a particular focus on women, who invest their earnings back into their communities. A certified Q grader and Q processor, Niyonzima-Aroian is one of the only Burundi natives to hold both certifications. She began the coffee trading company after a career in international telecommunications, holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and currently serves as a board member of the Specialty Coffee Association.

The high scores in the Grand Cru Burundi auction selections, ranging from 87.5 to 91.5, reflect JNP Coffee's past investments in training farmers on best practices in growing, harvesting, and processing their cherries. JNP Coffee is known for its award-winning specialty coffees and its gender equity focus in Burundi. These scores demonstrate the economic potential of specialty coffee in this small country and the transformative impact it can have on the more than 10,000 coffee growers who work with JNP Coffee staff members at origin.

Burundi farmers benefit from the industry’s first-ever Dushime® premium program, a second payment from JNP Coffee sourced from global sales of the prized specialty Bourbon coffee grown in Burundi’s high-altitude volcanic soil. Women farmers also access financial literacy education provided through JNP Coffee so they can invest productively in their communities.
“When you empower women in places like Burundi, you are empowering the entire community,” said Niyonzima-Aroian. “This auction has special significance for us because every purchase will support development initiatives for Burundi's farmers,” she said. “We have seen the transformative power of coffee and we are eager to do more."